International retirees flock to this affluent beachside community, which is also a haven for water-sports lovers. A newly built mall, US chain restaurants and a hospital confirms its growing status. The salt-and-pepper beach here is one of the most developed strips of sand along the coast, and is extremely popular with Panama City denizens on the up and up.
With regular air connections to Panama City, Playón Chico serves as a popular gateway to San Blás, especially since it’s located near the archipelago’s most expensive hotel, on neighboring Isla Iskardup. If you’re looking for more modestly priced accommodations, Playón Chico also serves as a convenient jumping-off point for nearby Yandup.
Just before the Interamericana reaches the coastline, a turnoff immediately east of Bejuco leads to the tiny sliver of peninsula known as Punta Chame. The road out to the sea winds past rolling hills before opening up to flat land that consists mainly of shrimp farms and mangroves.
Located a few kilometers before La Guayra, this snoozy village has a protected bay increasingly favored by sailboats voyaging to the San Blás or Cartagena, Colombia. Excursions to the nearby Isla Mamey visit a beautiful beach and surrounding mangroves. If you are deciding between Mamey and Isla Grande, this may be a better choice, particularly on crowded high-season weekends.